In today’s society instant gratification has become the norm. Feeling lonely? If you post on Facebook you can instantly get likes and comments from people to make you feel more connected. Feeling confused about a new product you just bought? Look it up online or call someone on your cell to help.
A typical concern I often get asked about when meeting with someone for the first time is usually regarding how long therapy will take. This is especially common for people who have never been in therapy before. They want instant results. The problem is, typically the issue/s they are dealing with didn’t develop and evolve over night. More often than not, they have been struggling for a period of time, if not from a young age. Additionally, it is not unusual for someone to wait until the problem has gotten overwhelmingly difficult before they seek help from a therapist.
It is completely normal when you are feeling horrible to want the change to be as quick and painless as possible. Who wants suffering to continue any longer than it has to? Unfortunately, therapy isn’t that simple.
An easy way of quantifying the work in therapy and how long it will take to feel better is: You are __ years old. It took you that many years to be the person sitting in front of me today. It won’t take that many years to help you feel better, but you do have to keep in mind that it will take some time.
This isn’t the same thing as taking medication where you pop a pill and your chemistry automatically starts to change. Therapy takes hard work inside and outside the therapy room to see progress and can take some time. I’m not interested in keeping anyone in therapy any longer than they need to be. If I’m doing my job correctly, the idea is I’m putting myself out of a job. Obviously, that will never happen because people are being born every day who might, unfortunately, need my help. However, nonetheless this is the mindset I take and try to convey to people I see.
Interested in giving therapy a try for something you have been struggling with? Email firstname.lastname@example.org
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